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It’s great you saw this adorable little succulent plant, and it captured your heart looking all cute. You immediately bring it home.
Still, you wonder, “How often should you water indoor succulents?” or what to do when you grow them outdoors.
You are a succulent beginner, and it is your first succulent plant. Well, we are here to help with all the information you need.
What are Succulent Plants?
The first thing to know about succulents is they have thick stems and fleshy leaves to store more water. So, when it comes to “How often should you water succulents?” the fleshy leaves already are a giveaway.
So, the water requirements differ for outdoor plants and other houseplants. Some succulents, like the cacti, can store water in their stem as it has tiny leaves. While agaves only hold water in the leaves. You will find that most of these plants have a broad root system native to dry regions like the desert or areas with the semiarid season.
The truth is there are 60 succulent families. Some of these include Cactaceae or Aizoaceae; the dominant one is Crassulaceae. You can also find some cultivated plant succulents used as ornamental or houseplants. These plants are:
Echeveria and other plants
The exciting thing is that all these plants have one common thing: the opening timing of the stomata. It is a small structure looking like a mouth found on the plant leaf surface and stem.
It allows for the uptake of carbon dioxide in the environment and the loss of oxygen and water. Compared to other plants, a succulent stomate remains closed throughout the day and only opens at night.
The result is that during the day, water loss is minimized, resulting in the uptake of carbon dioxide at night. Thus, the plant shows a form of photosynthesis and carbon dioxide fixation. It is known as crassulacean acid metabolism. Interesting right?
Great, now that you have some background history of how your growing succulents work, when should you water them?
How Often Should You Water Succulents
Many gardeners believe that the succulent is easy-caring. But, still, many do not know when is the right time to water them. These plants can go for long periods without water. Thus you cannot water them the same way as your other houseplants.
There is a secret to getting you started before we provide you with some tips on watering your indoor and outdoor plants. The rule of thumb is to let the soil mix dry out before watering them again. Still, it all depends on the species you have.
Another crucial thing is to provide your cute cacti or other succulents with suitable drainage holes in the pot. Your houseplant sitting in wet soil for a long time will drown, leading to rotting of the root. Lastly, your plants’ leaves can rot if they get water and remain for too long.
Watering Succulents Indoors
Many gardeners believe that the succulent is easy-caring. But, still, many do not know when is the right time to water them. These plants can go for long periods without water. Thus, you cannot water them the same way as your other houseplants.
There is a secret to getting you started before we provide you with some tips on watering your indoor and outdoor plants. The rule of thumb is to follow the soak-and-dry method. So, wait until the soil is completely dry before you water succulents.
Still, it depends on the species you have. Another crucial thing is to provide your cute cacti or other succulents with suitable drainage holes in the pot. Your houseplant sitting in wet soil for a long time will drown, leading to rotting of the root.
Lastly, your plants’ leaves can rot if they get water and remain wet for too long. So, the rule is to allow the water to drain through the drain hole and never do overhead watering.
Outdoor Succulent Watering
As with indoor and outdoor, succulents can go without water for an extended period. So, how often to water succulents in pots outside depends on the season and rainfall it receives. But if you grow your vegetation in the ground, such as desert natives, they can tolerate extreme weather.
Still, you must provide them with well-draining soil to prevent the succulent roots from rotting. The same rule applies using the soak-and-dry method. In extreme droughts, water them when you notice the leaves fade to give them enough water, especially during the growing season.
The reason is that a thirsty succulent is better than a drenched one. So when it rains a lot, you only need to water succulents outdoors when you notice the ground is parched. The only problem you will not have with indoor succulent leaves is that they can get wet as the air dries out the leaves faster.
As you know, constant watering will kill your plant if the soil is wet.
4 Factors to Consider When Watering Succulents
Okay, now that you know how to water succulents, other factors also play a big part in when to water your succulents:
Watering Succulents and Season Changes
During warmer months like spring and summer, your succulents grow like crazy. Thus, they will need more regular watering. Your small succulents to large ones draw much water out of the ground to provide nutrition for new growth.
Still, it all depends on the moisture in the soil by following the drench and dry method. Still, you may find it in a heated room during winter; you may also need to water your succulents more. If grown outdoors in the summer, the ground dries out faster. Further, it all depends on the temperature.
Yet, while most succulents are not frost-resistant, some of them can survive outdoors in winter. But, during colder temperatures, the watering becomes less as succulents enter a dormant state, sleeping peacefully.
Remember the rule for all seasons: let the ground dry out, and prevent watering the thick leaves or using a spray bottle on your indoor plants during winter months.
Pot Size and Soil Mix Matters
All succulents need water but need the correct pot size if grown indoors. Thus, pick a container that suits your plants when planted. A colossal container leaves you with less watering as it holds moisture back. Still, it depends if you have small succulents or ones growing huge.
When you choose a shallow container, the watering frequency is higher. Also, make sure the potting medium has a drainage hole to let the excess water drain freely after moistening intensely, as, with your container, you need the right potting mix.
But what is a good potting medium? We have a great recipe to make your potting mix for succulents. The essential thing is to provide them with porous ground to prevent overwatering.
You only need some potting soil, coarse sand, and perlite or pumice. Preferably use sterile potting soil as the base.
Also, please avoid using a garden mix heavy in vermiculite or anything, stating it has added moisture control to retain water. Another note is to use coarse sand that is fast draining.
You will need:
One part perlite or pumice
Three parts: potting soil
Two parts turface or poultry grit that is both coarse sand
Take a container and dump everything together, mixing it well.
Light to Keep Your Succulent Alive
So, how much sun does your succulent need? Your succulents need enough light-grown indoors. Thus, they need up to six hours of sun in a day. But this also depends on the succulent type you have.
If you want to grow your succulent indoors, placing it on a window sill with sheer curtains at first helps slowly introduce them to full sun to prevent the leaves from scorching.
Another crucial thing is to rotate them frequently to provide sun all around. Yet, if your succulent gets more than ten hours of full sun, you will water more frequently.
Humidity Also Plays a Factor in Watering Succulents
If your succulent is in cooler temperatures with high humidity, you will not need to water them often compared to one in hot, dry climates. The reason is that the ground retains moisture for longer in high humidity.
How Often Should You Water Succulent Plants?
So, how do you know your succulent needs water? Well, there are two ways you can tell. The first is to use two fingers and press the leaves gently.
If the leaves are resilient, they still have enough water in them. On the other hand, if the succulent leaves feel limp or look shriveled, it needs some water.
The other method is to lift the pot to see if the ground has dried up or is still moist, as it will be darker. Another way is using the finger test. The vital thing in watering succulents is when the soil has dried.
Generally, indoor plants need water every 14 to 21 days to keep succulents alive. But as we love succulents, the best is to keep an eye on the soil.
We hope the information helps you determine how much water your succulents need to stay alive. The simple rule is to keep an eye on your plants, provide them with good drainage, and let the soil dry. Happy gardening, and we are sure your succulent will provide you with a bright and cheerful display on your patio or at the window.
Frequently Asked Questions
Generally, waiting until the soil is completely dry before watering your succulents again would be best. You can check the soil’s moisture level by sticking your finger about an inch into the ground. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your succulent.
Another way to check is by using a soil moisture meter. It’s also important to note that outdoor succulents may need more frequent watering during the hot summer, while indoor succulents may require less water during the winter when the air is drier.
Generally, waiting until the soil is completely dry before watering your succulents again would be best. Depending on the succulent species and the conditions it’s growing in, this could be anywhere from once a week to once a month.
When you water your succulent, please give it a good soaking. Water the soil around the base of the plant until it’s completely saturated, but ensure not to get any water on the leaves.
Yes, overwatering is one of the biggest threats to succulents. Succulents are adapted to dry conditions, and their roots are prone to rot if they sit in wet soil for too long. Make sure to let the soil dry out completely between waterings.
The best way to water your succulent is to use the soak-and-dry method. Water the soil around the base of the plant until it’s completely saturated, and then wait until the soil is completely dry before watering again. Make sure to use well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent water from sitting in the bottom of the pot.
Yes, the watering needs of your succulent will differ depending on whether it’s growing indoors or outdoors. Indoor succulents may need less water, especially in winter when the air is drier. Outdoor succulents may need more frequent watering during the hot summer months, but ensure not to overwater them during periods of heavy rainfall.